One of the biggest problems with living in the southeast is moist/wet crawlspaces. There is a high water table, and the ground moisture rises to the top and condenses into a vapor. High humidity levels also add to the moisture found in crawlspaces. Homes out west, with a drier climate and drier soil do not have as big of a problem as we do, unless water if introduced to a poorly ventilated area like a plumbing or sprinkler leak. Mold spores are all around us and can lay dormant for years.
Most homes have spun fiberglass insulation between the joists and it acts like a sponge by soaking all he moisture from the air and traps it between the insulation and the wooden framework. The water also weighs the insulation down and causes it to sag and fall onto the ground. It then soaks up even more moisture. Trapped moisture between the insulation and framework create an improper ventilation area. All three create a perfect scenario for the growth of mold or other wood destroying fungi. It becomes a vicious cycle.
Advantages of encapsulation are:
A) Much better air quality in the living space.
B) Greater energy efficiency. Studies found a 20% reduction on energy use.
C) Fewer critter problems.
D) Greater durability for the flooring, framework, and HVAC equipment and other components within the crawlspace.
E) More comfort with reduced humidity and temperatures.
F) Peace of mind.
Encapsulating a crawlspace is a fantastic start to improving the health of your sub area (and your health too), but even after encapsulating, which will significantly lower the moisture level in your crawlspace, why stop there? You will still need to reintroduce fresh air somehow. The three most popular methods of doing so are:
A) Install one or two foundation vent fans to help push the air from your crawlspace to the exterior. The fans will automatically turn on and off at preset humidity levels. If this method is used, another vent will need to be added between the crawlspace and the living area of the home to pull “new air” down into the crawlspace.
B) If your HVAC ductwork is in the crawlspace, one or two diffusers or registers (depending on the size of your home) would be installed directly into the ductwork to bring new air into the crawlspace. In both examples A & B, you are only conditioning your crawlspace to the conditions of the living area above, which still may not be enough, so the absolute best method is C.
C) Install a dehumidifier in the crawlspace: It may be more expensive, and require a little more maintenance, but it is truly the best choice to make.
After everything is said and done, we remind you of the old saying that “The Best Defense is a Good Offense”. Click below to better investigate the “preventive maintenance” section of our site.
Remediation involves cleaning up existing mold while avoiding exposure. An essential first step is stopping new growth by addressing the moisture source, proper repair before proceeding is paramount. Cleaned materials are dried while air abrasives, and detergents are used to assure complete removal of mold spores. The last step is to determine if clean up has been successful. We won't leave until the job is done!
Affordable Exterminators PO Box 1646
Midlothian, VA 23113
13540 E Boundary Rd,
Midlothian, VA 23112
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